Sociology 2270A/B Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Sociological Theory, Industrial Revolution, Amplitude Modulation

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Sociology 2270A/B
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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The Early Roots of Sociological Theory
Monday, September 10, 2018
11:30 AM
Sociological theory examines societies, social institutions, and social systems as they exist in
reality, rather than in the abstract
The Prince written by Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 - 1527) was a controversial book for its time,
because it provided a realistic view of human actions and challenged the long-held belief that
kigs had a diie right to rule.
The Prince was based on reality, observations of real people, and not just moral ideals. It is for this
very reason that it shocked its readers and was widely censored and banned.
This is the very type of publication that illustrates modern social science - to write about society as
it really is, not only as the power elite says that it is, or should be; and to be critical of social
institutions that do not operate in the best interest of the people.
However, because of its initial limited readership, one might argue that a contemporary of
Machiavelli, Martin Luther (1483-1546), might actually serve as a better representation.
Luther, a German priest and professor of theology, was one of the first advocates of mass
education.
He also challenged the powerful social institution of the Catholic Church and its assertion that the
only true interpretation of the Bible should come from religious leaders.
Luther, in contrast, believed that it was the right, even the duty, of all Christians to interpret the
Bible for themselves
Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau
Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679)
Even under authoritarian rule, Hobbes believed that authority is given by the subjects
themselves; that, by their consent, the rulers maintain sovereign power.
As a political and social theorist, Hobbes wondered what life and human relations would be
like in the absence of government.
In his book the Leviathan, he showed how each part of the state parallels the function of the
parts of the human body
Hobbes argues that, in the absence of social condition, every action we perform, no matter
how charitable or benevolent, is done for selfish reasons.
Today, this concept is often referred to as psychological egoism.
Hobbes believes that any description of human action, including morality, must reflect the
reality that man is self-serving by nature.
Hobbes also noted that there are three natural causes of conflict among people:
competition for limited supplies of material possessions, distrust of one another, and glory
insofar as people remain hostile to preserve their powerful reputation.
Hobbes concludes that the natural condition of humans is a state of perpetual war of all
against all, where no morality exists, and everyone lives in constant fear
Thoas Hoes deeloped a theor of hua ature herei it as atural for people to
believe that they have a right to all things (Ewin, 1991).
Because of this nature of humanity, it was difficult for individuals to coexist in a society.
Furthermore, Hobbes argued that humans are shaped by religious and political beliefs,
beliefs that can vary quite differently from person to person.
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Individuals do not share the exact same beliefs as one another, they develop different self-
interests.
Self-interests are shaped by selective perception, and consequently, reality is a projection
created by individuals based on their beliefs and their nature.
Hobbes believed that everything in the universe was simply made of atoms in motion, and
that geometry and mathematics could be used to explain human behavior.
According to his theories, there were two types of motion in the universe: vital (involuntary
motion, such as heart rate) and voluntary (things that we choose to do).
Voluntary motion was then further broken down into desires and aversions
Desires were things one was moved to or that were valued by the individual, while aversions
were fears or things to be avoided by the individual.
John Locke (1632 - 1704)
Locke proposed the concept of tabula rasa - was the idea that children are born with minds
that ere aki to a lak slate uarked util eperiee iprits it.
With this idea children are not born with the Innate ideas and marked with "original sin"
It was the role of education to then turn these infants into well-rounded citizen of society
Locke emphasized the role of parents as the primary teachers and guides on the thoughts
and experiences that children will undergo throughout their lifetimes
Hobbes, as we have learned, believed that the government should exist to insure that all
individuals were free to seek their self-interests while protecting them from each other.
Locke, too, realized that there are times when the government needs to enact salus populi
suprema lex esto (supreme law that allows the government to take extreme measures
during times of drastic circumstances)
Loke proposed that idiiduals egage i a soial otrat ith other eers of soiet
as a means of maintaining some sort of civility in society.
Locke and Hobbes shared a common view of the importance and autonomy of the individual
in society.
The extent to which they agreed varies, but one important belief was constant between the
two social thinkerspeople existed as individuals before societies and governments came
into being.
They each possessed certain rights and all had the freedom to do as they pleased,
unrestricted according to Hobbes, and with some restrictions placed on them by God,
according to Locke.
Locke describes three instances (the first of which has four subparts) in which revolution
could be justified:
i. Alteration in legislation:
1. A governmental leader sets up his or her own arbitrary will in the place of laws.
2. The governmental leader hinders the right of individuals to assemble.
3. The goeretal leader alters or tapers ith the eletio of the people’s
representatives to the legislature.
4. The governmental leader delivers his or her people to the subjection to a
foreign power.
ii. When existing laws can no longer be put to execution.
iii. The eistig goeret ats otrar to the people’s trust.
Locke believed that all individuals had a natural right to appropriate private property. This
was based off of two preconditions of natural law.
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Document Summary

Machiavelli, martin luther (1483-1546), might actually serve as a better representation. Luther, in contrast, believed that it was the right, even the duty, of all christians to interpret the. Furthermore, hobbes argued that humans are shaped by religious and political beliefs, beliefs that can vary quite differently from person to person. Individuals do not share the exact same beliefs as one another, they develop different self- interests. It was the role of education to then turn these infants into well-rounded citizen of society. Locke, too, realized that there are times when the government needs to enact salus populi suprema lex esto (supreme law that allows the government to take extreme measures during times of drastic circumstances) Lo(cid:272)ke proposed that i(cid:374)di(cid:448)iduals e(cid:374)gage i(cid:374) a (cid:862)so(cid:272)ial (cid:272)o(cid:374)tra(cid:272)t(cid:863) (cid:449)ith other (cid:373)e(cid:373)(cid:271)ers of so(cid:272)iet(cid:455) as a means of maintaining some sort of civility in society. Locke believed that all individuals had a natural right to appropriate private property.

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